Connecticut Trail Symposium 2019

Thank you to all who attended the CT Trails Symposium on Thursday, October 24, 2019! You will find links to downloadable presenter slides below.  If you attended please take our attendee survey here to help us make improvements for next year. 

“Shout it Out!”

Trails Tourism and Marketing
Presented by the CT Greenways Council
In Partnership with and Held on the East Hartford Campus of Goodwin College
9am- 3:30pm


We in Connecticut, over the last decade, have made great progress in building and connecting our trail systems.  So much so that the CGC believes now is the time to celebrate and shout about our trail systems assuring that all members of our communities can gather, recreate, relax, run errands and even commute or travel together.  This year, the Symposium hopes to offer sessions that focus on engaging with state and local tourism and marketing resources as well as technology that can maximize effective delivery of your trail information.

9:00 – 9:15  Registration / Networking & Continental Breakfast – posters

9:15 – 9:25 Welcome and Overview of the Day:

  • Bruce Donald, CT Greenways Council Chair and Tri-State Coordinator  East Coast Greenway.
  • Todd Andrews, Goodwin College, VP Economic & Strategic Development will talk about how their trail is impacting campus life.

9:25 -9:55 – Keynote:  An Open Invitation

  • Charles Tracy, new coordinator for the Connecticut Trail Census, will share creative projects designed to attract, inspire and welcome new trail users from his work with the National Park Service. DOWNLOAD SLIDES 

10:00 -10:30 – Celebration of Recently completed projects

  • DEEP’s CT Recreational Trails Program –Laurie Giannotti will show slides of completed projects around the state while reporting on the program’s success over the last 12 years.
  • East Coast Greenway/CT DOT – Bruce Donald will share slides and information on progress made across the CT on the East Coast Greenway DOWNLOAD SLIDES

10:30 – 10:45 Break & refreshments (networking and enjoy displays)


  • Trail Finder – Overview of the Trail Finder web platform and how it is re-shaping access to trails in New England and beyond. DOWNLOAD SLIDES 



Facilitated Panel of Media & Marketing Professionals – to inspire and guide you on how best to spread your trail information.

  • William Flood, Assignment Editor for Fox 61 – Facilitator
  • Dan Brown, Outside TV
  • Peter Martika, the Hartford Courant DOWNLOAD SLIDES
  • Patrick Skahill, reporter at WNPR
  • Mason Trumble, Temp Manager Local Marketing & Brand REI DOWNLOAD SLIDES
  • Suzanne Thompson, reporter/local radio show host

12:30- 1:00 Lunch provided and prepared by The Chrysalis Center, Inc.

1:00 – 2:00 Session 1   (Concurrent 45 min Sessions)

  1. CT Trail Finder – 50-75 minute roundtable with trail pros from around the State. We will have an in-depth tutorial about the administrative end of the Trail Finder system. We will dive more deeply into data collection methods & best practices for data standardization. Experts will share their experiences (and pitfalls) developing a statewide interactive trail system map for the public. Could this be a future resource for the CT trails community? Come learn more!
  2. OnCell – Jonathan Morse, Territory Manager.  Mobile tour apps allows you to harness the power of mobile technology to help your audiences explore, engage, and discover arts and culture in new ways.  This will be a remotely presented session.
  3. Wander our Watershed – Kimberly Bradley, Eightmile Wild & Scenic Coordination Committee Member / SECT NEMBA President; Patricia Young, Program Director, Eightmile River Watershed; Andrea Peres, Outreach Specialist, Outdoor Adventure Map Project.  The Eightmile Wild & Scenic Watershed Coordination Committee recently initiated an interactive on-line map project to highlight a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities including hiking trails, birding sites, mountain biking, snowshoeing and trail running. The map also features local businesses within the greater Eightmile River Watershed region that support a greater outdoor adventure such as campgrounds, farm stands, eateries and outdoor gear establishments. Project website:

2:00 – 3:00 Session 2   (Concurrent 45 min Sessions)

  1. CT Trail Census Marketing Your Trail  DOWNLOAD SLIDES
    University of Connecticut – Department of Extension; Charles Tracy, Coordinator, Connecticut Trail Census, Barbara Amodio – BikeWalkBolton, Laura Brown, MS, CEcD, Community & Economic Development Educator,. Do you have a plan for marketing and promoting your trail? Every good business plan is built around knowing your customers and trails are no different. This session will cover what you need to know to understand about your trail users and how to use that information to develop an effective plan for marketing and promotion. We’ll provide several examples of communities making use of trail user data for promotion from Connecticut and other states. This session will also include a discussion about how to best mobilize tourism, planning and marketing partners, access data resources, and ideas for incorporating trail user data into broader planning efforts.
  2. Carrabessett Valley ME
    Talk about the trails initiative in the town, including Maine Huts and Trails, Carrabessette Valley First Selectman. The focus will be on economic benefits and marketing of trails, as well as the partnerships formed to build and fund these trails. This will be a remotely presented session.
  3. The Last Green Valley’s Walktober & CT Forest and Park Association’s CT Trails Day.

3:00 – 3:30

  • Wrap-up – Group impressions, ideas for next year, Thank you and Evaluations. Bruce Donald, CT Greenways Council Chair and Tri-State Coordinator for the East Coast Greenway.

3:30 Optional –

  • Goodwin College Trail Walk- Registrants are invited to stay after the event to enjoy an easy walking tour along the CT River.
  • The Connecticut Trail User Committee – Room TBA – is a group of volunteers, bound by good faith, to improve all of our outdoor recreational opportunities through communication, teamwork and to continuously improve relationships between trail user groups. All trail users are welcome to attend, and discussion will be facilitated by the CT Off Road Enthusiasts Coalition.


Join the CT Trails discussion!